Whole Foods CEO explains his giddy love for Amazon

Commentary: In a company town hall meeting, John Mackey tells his staff that he's in love with Amazon and it's not a Tinder relationship.

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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John Mackey is in love and he doesn't care who knows it.

Dustin Finkelstein

Amazon and Whole Foods getting together isn't a marriage of convenience stores or a sleazy one-night stand. 

Amazon's intention to buy the Austin-based retailer for $13.7 billion is purely a love thing. At least that's what Whole Foods believes.

I know this from a transcript of a Friday town hall meeting in which Whole Foods CEO John Mackey gushed about the palpitations he felt on meeting with Amazon executives, holding (proverbial) hands with them and, who knows, perhaps nibbling -- on some organic vegetables, of course -- in some romantic garden.

"It was actually mutual friends set us up on a blind date," said Mackey. He explained that he and a few senior executives flew up to Seattle to meet with Amazon counterparts.

There were tingles in extremities. There were sparks in several loins.

"We just fell in love," said Mackey. "It was truly love at first sight."

How many times have people said this and it's turned out to be just a carnal fling that ended in tears and a visit to a medical practitioner? Mackey, though, believes he's found the one.

"I'm very serious. It's like we came outta there. We talked for 2 1/2 hours. I think we coulda talked for 10 hours. And -- when we huddled together, it was like we just had -- we just had these big grins on our faces, like, 'These guys are amazing.' They're so smart. They're so authentic. They say what's on their mind. They're not playin' a bunch of BS games."

Ah, those revealing day-after grins. You just can't hide them. Mackey, indeed, just couldn't cast love from his mind, insisting that this was the real thing. Just like Coca-Cola once was.

"it's been a whirlwind courtship," he said. "Because -- little over six weeks after we met on this blind date, we're -- we're f-- officially engaged, as of today. But like an old traditional marriage, where there are all kinds of rules and chaperones, we can't consummate the marriage, until we're actually officially hooked up. This is not -- this is not a Tinder relationship."

Some might find relief in that there seems to have been no swiping right and no sex. There does seem, however, to have been some considerable symbolic snogging. 

Mackey was at pains to point out all the potential (and, so far, secret) benefits for customers and the opportunities that Whole Foods staff will now enjoy, working for a global company.

He said that there will be intermingling of Amazon and Whole Foods staff and admitted that there will be some, well, evolution in how things are run. Might he have been alluding to Amazon being a bit of a, well, dominant partner?

You, though, will already fear that he exclaimed that this was a dream come true. Well, he said: "This is kind of the dream come true."

But he insisted the dream had been real. 18 months ago, he'd dreamed this very thing happening -- so he said -- and now here he was about to get Jeff Bezos's gold ring on his finger. 

"Soon, there will be a collective dream. There'll be a Whole Foods dream merging in with an Amazon dream. And together, these two companies are gonna do tremendous dreams together," he said. No, I'm not dreaming. He really said that.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for its dream-filled, loved-up feelings on the matter.  

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